1984 – George Orwell

Winston Smith, a low-ranking worker, begins to doubt ‘the Party’. Hidden in his apartment, away from the glaring ‘telescreen’, he keeps a secret diary of his thoughts and frustration; he questions the power of the ominous ‘Big Brother’ and the manipulation and contortion of public opinion, history and truth. In his subtle rebellion, he finds Julia and together they fight against oppression from mass media control, government surveillance and totalitarianism.

In a world in which President Trump and his administration report falsehoods and lies, scrutinise research-led environmental data and place new research and development on hold, it is unsurprising that the novel’s notion of a terrifying and plausible dystopia speaks to so many. 1984 notably highlights despairing themes of a twisted, totalitarian world and the necessity to resist deceit and mass control. As one of the most influential works of fiction ever written, it is a powerful admonition.

 

 

 

 

High Fidelity – Nick Hornby

After breaking up with Laura, Rob’s most recent ex, he asks himself the big questions about love and life. He also makes top-five lists about them, from his most memorable split-ups to Dustin Hoffman films and records made by blind musicians. Now, he is free to spend his time reorganising his record collection, arguing with Dick and Barry at the shop and daydreaming about recording artistes who look like Susan Dey. Soon, he reaches his own conclusions about love and marriage and it becomes clear where he’s been going wrong.

High Fidelity is upbeat and observant, it is an account of male self-pity and forgiveness from an instantly recognisable character. It is a charming story about people, full of reflections and brilliant glimpses into the male psyche.